WARMINSTER >> William Tennent gave Pennridge all it could handle and then some.
The Panthers are supposed to be the bottom feeders in the Suburban One League Continental Conference opposed to the top-placed Rams, but William Tennent wasn’t going to roll over.
Sean Yoder had a little bit more, however as he scored 22 points and pulled down five rebounds to help Pennridge beat William Tennent 54-48 Friday at William Tennent High School.
Yoder had 12 points at the break and nearly doubled that in the second half.
“I was getting open shots, but I just wasn’t knocking them down (in the first half),” Yoder said. “I have confidence in myself and confidence in my teammates. If I am going to keep getting open shots then I am going to take them.”
Most of his production came from driving the lane, but Yoder got to the line five times and went 8-of-10 from the stripe.
“We always feel that Sean as a point guard, can get to the basket eight, nine, 10 times a game,” PHS coach Dean Behrens said. “If he shoots 80 percent then we are going to have a wonderful night.”
Pennridge (8-4, 2-2 conference) exploded for 22 points in the fourth quarter to put it over the top.
Michael Mulville returned to the Tennent (4-7, 0-5) starting lineup after missing the previous game against Central Bucks East.
Mulville responded by scoring four quick points and got the Panthers off to a 6-2 start.
“It was pretty big,” Markeith Baxter said. “He hit some pretty good shots to get us going. He gave us the boost that we needed that we didn’t have against (Central Bucks) East.”
William Tennent’s defense kept the opposing team to single digits in the first quarter for the second consecutive game.
The two teams were deadlocked at nine after the first quarter.
The Panthers got sloppy to start the second quarter by turning the ball over on three of four possessions.
This coupled with Pennridge’s Tyrese Lewis-Eutsey allowed the Panthers to go on a 6-2 run up 15-11.
Lewis-Eutsey failed to score in the opening quarter, but tallied nine of his 11 points in the second frame.
The big man scored no matter the William Tennent defense as he made his home under the basket.
Lewis-Eutsey was the big man in charge for much of the quarter, but the Panther’s Derrick Cosenza cut the lead to 23-22 at the half.
Pennridge’s shooting percentage then went on a dry spell in the second half.
After the opening bucket, the Rams didn’t score again until there was 2:41 remaining in the third quarter.
Part of this was because of the Pennridge’s foul trouble.
Lewis-Eutsey and forward Jake Pestrak both picked up three quick fouls forcing them to hit the bench.
This opened the lane a little for the Panther guards starting with Baxter who had 11 in the half and game.
“I stayed within my game and changed a couple things up to get myself going,” Baxter said. “I didn’t hit a single shot in the first half, so I just did what I do best, which is get to the paint.”
Pennridge went to a trapping style of defense with mixed results, but William Tennent managed to still lead 34-32 going into the fourth quarter.
Things came undone for the Panthers.
First it was Yoder tying the game at 32.
Then it was Lewis-Eutsey recording a steal and continuing a 11-3 run by he Rams to lead 43-37.
“We tried to up tempo with about three minutes left in the third quarter,” Behrens said. “We tried to play more full court and make it a track meet. We got a couple baskets and made a steal and got them playing a little erratic.”
William Tennent rallied to get the game to two points twice late, but it could not stop fouling Yoder.
Despite the Panthers hustle, the Rams never relinquished the lead given by Lewis-Eutsey.
Pennridge 9 14 9 22 – 54
William Tennent 9 13 12 14 – 48